January 31, 2006

Quick Take On SOTU

Two things stand out -
1) "We will not sit back and wait to be hit again." is THE soundbite. It could easily have been prefaced by "Despite the words and actions of the Democrats in Congress..."

2) The Dems standing up and cheering the defeat of Social Security reform. Hillary was positively beaming. Good fodder for an ad in 2008. Disgraceful. Do they know how they look to the average American when they do that? But then again, Harry Reid did actually say "We killed the Patriot Act".

Some of the analysis says he was more reserved than expected. I think at least in terms of National Security and Iraq he was pretty feisty. The last third sounded too Clintonian though. Too many "small" programs squeezed into too little time. Tedious.

All in all I give it a B+. Better than last year's but not as good as others (say, 2002).

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SOTU Tonight

While Democrats have been wasting their energies and resources on the Flop-ibuster, the President has been preparing to address the nation in his "State of the Union" speech.

I'll be watching. I thought about live-blogging it but there are sharper tools in the shed than me who'll already be doing that. But in anticipation of the address, here's my prediction of how it'll go. It's a combination of what I think he'll say and what I hope he'll say:

1) We’re still at war. The enemy isn’t letting up but we are killing lots of bad guys every day. America must not be complacent. The reason we haven’t been hit again is not because they haven’t tried. NSA surveillance is critical. This is not spying on grandma’s cell phone conversations; this is identifying threats before they materialize. Despite the complaints of some, it is lawful, it is Constitutional and we’re going to continue to do it to protect American lives. End of story. (If only Jack Bauer could be up in the gallery next to Laura Bush!)

2) The economy is strong. Quote employment statistics, job creation numbers, GDP growth, Federal Tax revenue increases, etc. It's not a coincidence that these strong numbers have come about since cutting taxes. Tax relief for all who pay taxes is a good thing. We’re going to do more. We need to reform and simplify the IRS code.

3) Congratulations to Sam Alito and his family and thank you Justice O’Connor for your 24 years of service on the court. (He should gloat but he won’t.)

4) List the under-reported accomplishments in Congress over the past year.

5) Lay out a few proposals (in a “big picture” way) for the coming year. Set the agenda (emphasize Immigration reform).

6) We must reform the current political system that has compromised members of both parties and the GOP must take the lead. Reign in spending. Elect a strong majority leader (wink to Shadegg). Enact sweeping institutional changes to restore the integrity of the Federal Government (meaning Congress) to a level that voters can once again be proud of.

7) Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.

Something along those lines, I think.

And if some Democrats want to get up and walk out if the chamber in the middle of the speech...oh that would be the icing on the cake!

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Goobye Sandy, Hello Sammy!

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Congratulations to Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court,
Samuel Alito!

Who's cryin' now, Hippies?

UPDATE: Delicious Irony. Alito is confirmed 58-42. And Ed Whelan at Bench Memos reminds us that 19 years ago, Robert Bork was denied a seat on SCOTUS by a Senate vote of 58-42. What a difference a generation makes - not to mention elections and the weakening of the Old Media's monopoly on information. Heh.

And since it's now become somewhat dated, I am retiring the "Confirm Alito Coalition" button from the side bar.

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Our work is done.

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Tolkien Geek Update

Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter Six is posted.

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41 Dems Against

According to California Yankee, who's been keeping a meticulous count on the Alito confirmation vote, forty Democrats and one...ahem...Republican - Lincoln Chafee - will vote "no" today at 11am. That leaves fifty-seven Senators on record as saying the will or expect to vote "yea", with two undecided - Mary Landrieu and Olympia Snowe.

Assuming Landrieu and Snowe vote "yea", that's fifty-nine in total. Now, in the minds of the Left, fifty-nine votes not would have been enough to invoke cloture last night. Yet an additional thirteen Democrats voted for cloture. These thirteen who voted "yea" for cloture will be seen as traitors by the Moonbats who - for one brief shining moment - thought they could get enough support to maintain a filibuster.

The Left will come even more unhinged today, to the dismay of the more centrist members of the Dem caucus (both of them). It's ironic that less than four months ago, the Left was positively gleeful at the thought of a Republican party tearing itself apart over the Miers mess. But the GOP weathered that storm and are now more united than ever.

The current fracture among Democrats is going to be a lot harder to mend, assuming both parties even want it to. Let the blood-letting begin!

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January 30, 2006

No Filibuster For You!

The Senate invoked cloture by a vote of 75-25 this afternoon. Notwithstanding Teddy Kennedy's purple-faced screaming at the top of his lungs (not to mention the obligatory stamping of the feet and the holding of the breath), Alito's nomination now goes to certain approval tomorrow morning.

The one thing that would make this perfect is if Alito is confirmed with fewer than 60 votes. You think the Left is going nuts now? Heh.

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This Is Where The Fun Begins

Sometime after 5:30pm, a cloture vote will take place in the Senate on the debate over the Alito nomination.

60 or more Senators will vote to invoke cloture. Or will they? I expect that they will, but the results - whatever they are - will be interesting. I'll be out of the loop most of the evening so I'll likely hear after the fact. But I'm sure someone in the blogosphere will post how each Senator voted.

The suspense is killing me...I hope it lasts.

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Jaded Voters Yawn Over Abramoff Scandal

Democrats are all juiced up over the idea that American voters will revolt against the GOP in November. And while, honestly, voters should be pissed off at the current system and how it affects both parties their expectations are that neither party holds a monopoly on honesty and integrity. The system needs to be reformed and the only chance of that is if the GOP makes it a priority to do so. Electing Rep. John Shadegg as the new House Majority Leader would be a good start.

But as far as the election goes, Rasmussen polls show a high level of apathy when asked about the current stories about lobbyists like Jack Abramoff.

Just 15% of Americans believe Abramoff did anything different than what lobbyists typically do. Forty-seven percent (47%) say Abramoff's actions were the norm while 38% are not sure.

A slight majority of Americans (52%) believe the Abramoff scandal involves members of both parties in Congress. Seventeen percent (17%) say it involves Republicans while 5% say it involves Democrats.

As an election issue, people say that political corruption in important, but they don't see a clear solution. Just 31% believe there will be less corruption if Democrats win control of Congress. That figure is offset by 24% who say there will be more corruption with Democrats in power. A plurality (39%) say nothing much would change.

As you would expect, there are tremendous partisan differences on responses to that question. Among those who are not affiliated with either major party, 49% say corruption would remain about the same if the Democrats are put in charge.

The Dems are making Congressional corruption a focal point of their campaign this year. But the reality is that the current set-up allows for an incumbency protection racket. A mere handful of Congressional seats are even remotely considered competitive. Paul Jacob has a column in TownHall.com today that looks at the problem.
You see, incumbents have voted themselves so many advantages that voters wind up with almost no viable alternatives. Most political observers are familiar with the litany of freebies to which incumbents take advantage: radio and TV studios used to beam messages back home, mass mailings to voters. But the real advantage incumbents in Congress have is power. A large part of that power is the trillions of dollars they spend, some in slices of pork they can send back home, and for which they take full credit.

But their power doesn't just stop there. Congress also has the power to regulate. Congress can make or break any business in America. Got a competitor? Congress has regulations! We're talking power that is worth trillions more. Good, negotiable power. So, is it surprising that interested parties would hire lobbyists to protect themselves or advance their own economic agenda?

While most voters view the Congress as a bunch of untrustworthy scumbags, they're perfectly willing to return their own particular untrustworthy scumbag as long as he keeps bringing the goods to his district.

There are a lot of Democrat voters who'd like to believe that their party holds the moral high-ground when it comes to integrity. The problem is there aren't nearly enough people that share this idealistic view to put Democrats back in charge. So instead of trying to find a reason for people not to vote for Republicans, they're only real hope is to try to come up with reasons to vote for Democrats.

Which means they have no hope.

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January 29, 2006

Tolkien Geek Update

Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter Five is posted.

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Lefty Fever-Swamp In "War-Room" Mode

Despite the handwriting on the wall that a filibuster attempt is doomed, the Mos Eisley of the Angry Left (as James Taranto refers to DailyKos) is all a buzz trying to rally their 3 or 4 million minions to contact Senators who they wishfully consider to be "wobbly" on the filibuster and put the pressure on.

And the strategy was laid out on a conference call to Lefty bloggers by Tailspin Teddy and John Francois Kerry.

But even the Uber-Liberal Boston Globe has conceded defeat, reporting that "the best Kerry and Kennedy can hope for is to persuade 25 or 30 Democrats to sign on." These folks would have made terrific Kamikaze pilots.

California Yankees comments on RedState: "[Harry] Reid said he would support Kerry's filibuster 'to at least send a message.' Sadly, the message is that the Democrats are obstructionist sore losers." But just for shits 'n giggles he's keeping a pretty detailed tally as the events unfold.

The cloture vote is scheduled for tomorrow at 5:30pm, after which the confirmation vote for Sam Alito will take place on Tuesday around 11:30am. I plan on checking in every once in a while to watch the circus, but unless anything particularly interesting happens following this moment to moment makes as much sense as watching a round of the PGA tour on TV. Zzzzzzzzz.

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January 28, 2006

80's Crush of the Week

This week's 80's Crush is: Morgan Fairchild

Birth Name: Patsy Ann McClenny
Birth Date: 2/3/50
Age Today: 55
Birthplace: Dallas, TX

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80's Crush Because: Long before Jon Lovitz's famous "Liar" character Tommy Flanagan ("Yeah, that's the ticket") used to say that she was his wife, I has her leopard-skin bathing suit poster (see below) on my wall. She played bitch-goddess Constance Carlyle on the prime-time soap "Flamingo Road" (1981-1982), which I will admit was a "guilty pleasure" for me at the time. Oh, the shame.

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Other Notable Roles: Her first feature film was "The Seduction", a 1982 movie so bad that it was only her two semi-nude scenes that made it barely watchable. I saw it several times. The bulk of Morgan's career is comprised of lesser known movies and guest spots on several popular TV shows. Who can forget her as Chandler's hot mom on "Friends"? She's also appeared in several recent ads for Old Navy.

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Most Recent Media Appearance: A VH1 celebrity-oriented reality show called "But Can They Sing?"

Distinguishing Feature: Perfect radiant skin. Sharp, well-defined nose. Gravity-defying breasts, shaped like torpedos (yes, she got implants in 1981).

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First Professional Acting Gig: Morgan was Faye Dunaway's stand-in during the location shots for the movie "Bonnie & Clyde".

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Interesting Factoids: Once dated Sen. John Kerry (ugh). However, according to Wikipedia, she has been know to have "conservative viewpoints" although she "generally leans more libertarian in actual practice.".

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Still Crushin'?: Absolutely. Somehow, somewhere the woman has discovered the fountain of youth. She's never looked hotter.

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Crush Meter: 10 out of 10

For past entries, go to the 80's Crush Vault

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January 27, 2006

This Is What Arrogance Sounds Like

Sen. John "Francois" Kerry decided to pander to the extreme Left try and persuade his Liberal friends to support an Alito filibuster. The way he does it is most amusing. He considers Sam Alito a result of the old switchero.

This was a coup.

Miers was removed and Alito was installed to replace the swing vote on the Court. The President gave no thought to what the American people really wanted--or needed. So it's up to us to think about what America really needs - that's part of the true meaning of "advice and consent."

Umm. I don't remember the poll that said "most American voters disapprove of Alito". G.W. Bush ran for re-election (against the aforementioned Sen. Kerry) and he made it quite clear that he intended to appoint Justices in - "the mold of Justice Scalia or Justice Thomas". And guess what? He won!

And even if there WAS a poll that said differently, so what? I don't recall the provision in the Constitution that called for a poll result to determine who the President could nominate or one that stated that a "swing vote" on the Court had to be replace with another "swing vote". Elections have consequences and Bush can appoint anyone he sees fit. As long as that nominee is qualified, there is NO provision in the Constitution for the Senate withhold its "consent". And it looks like a majority of Senators - Democrat AND Republican - give their consent.

When Sen. Kerry says he cares about "what America really needs", what he means is what he thinks America really needs. Because as far as he's concerned, if the American voter is too stupid to vote for George Bush over him then they certainly don't know what's best for the Supreme Court. Like a true Liberal elitist douchebag, Kerry thinks he knows better than the knuckle-dragging plebians of the electorate. So he's determined to pursue obstuction as his interpretation of "advise and consent".

Guess what Frenchy-boy? You LOST in November and you're gonna LOSE now. Because the American people - whether you believe it or not - are smart enough to decide for themselves what they want.

Here's a clue: they DIDN'T want you as President but they DO want Sam Alito on the Court. So go back to your sugar-mommy and "borrow" some money to send to MoveOn.org because at this point they have more political influence than you do. Loser.

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BSG Tonight!

10pm - Sci-Fi.

Watch it.

That's all I have time for. Miss it and it's your own loss.

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"Call Your Senators"...

It's bad enough that both of my Senators - Chris Dodd (D) and Joe Lieberman (D) have committed to voting against Samuel Alito, one of the most eminently qualified candidates for SCOTUS in the entire country. But MoveOn.org is emailing me and begging me to write both of them to join Tweedledee (D) and Tweedledum (D) of Mass. to try and push a futile filibuster despite knowing that they don't have the votes to maintain it.

From MoveOn.org's e-mail: "Filibustering the Alito nomination isn't just the right policy for the country, it's good politics for progressives."

Nice, not only do they not have the balls to call themselves Liberals, but they're admitting flat out that this is nothing more than what they consider to be "good politics".

Fortunately, the people in charge understand that there are some things more important than "good politics" and a good man and prudent jurist will soon be seated on the highest court of the land.

Allow me to quote Willy Wonka on this one. "You get NOTHING! You LOSE! Good day, sir."

Try winning an election once in a while and maybe your party wouldn't be so impotent.

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Jack Bauer On NSA Surveillance

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Had to lift this from Van Helsing, who lifted it from Right Wing Nation, who lifted it from Strange Cosmos...

Damn, that's a lot of heavy lifting. Need beer.

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The "Mos Eisley" Of The Angry Left

That's what James Taranto calls DailyKos in his "Best of the Web" column today (2nd item down).

Perfect.

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THIS Is Clever

Go to this website and follow the instructions. You tap out a tune with your space bar and it tells you what song it is (it helps if you hum the tune as you're tapping). It's really cool if there's a song in your head and you don't know what it is. It even gives you a link to the lyrics.

Just for kicks, I tapped in Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" and Bob Seeger's "Old Time Rock And Roll" it got it right both times.

hat tip: Jonah Goldberg

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You Win Some, You Lose Some

How's this for a kick in the ass? A homeless woman goes dumpster-diving and finds 25,000 Pounds Sterling's worth of cash. Fearing it might be counterfeit, she brings it to the bank. And they confiscate it!

Fadila Cirhanovic, 52, from Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, said she couldn't believe her luck when she found the cash.

But she feared it could be counterfeit and so took it to a bank to have the notes verified, reported daily Bljesak.

Managers at the branch confirmed the money was real, but confiscated it and passed it on to police after Cirhanovic admitted to finding it.

She said: "I'm hoping that my honesty will be rewarded in the end and I will get my fortune and be able to change my life."

Well, lady. You can wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which one gets filled first. She's not going to see a dime of that money. Looks like it's back to the dumpster for her.

Didn't the thought of presenting only ONE of the notes to the bank to check its authenticity enter her mind?

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Harry Reid Comes Clean

Admits he doesn't have the votes to sustain a filibuster. The Alito vote is scheduled for Tuesday, hours before the State Of The Union.

Prediction: Moonbats won't care whether or not the votes are there and will scream all weekend that Dems should filibuster anyway.

Heh.

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Helen Thomas Peevish Over "Snub"

After forty years of Presidents suffering the stupid questions of this kook (which are usually framed as thinly-veiled slander), George W. Bush has decided he doesn't have to put up with her crap. Good for him. Ever since JFK first decided to humor this twit in a press conference by taking her ridiculous questions, Helen Thomas has been a fixture in the White House press corp.

And, there she was sitting in the center of the front row yesterday waiting to ask such moronic questions as "You said you didn't go in [to Iraq] for oil or for Israel or for WMDs. So why did you go in?" For crissakes, this has only been the most discussed policy issue of this Administration. We've only been over and over and over this ad nauseum for the last three years. That wasn't designed to be a serious questions, it was meant to be an insult - a way for this Left-wing loony-toon to show her contempt for the President of the United States. Well, she kept waiting and before she knew it, the press conference was over. Now she's sulking about it. Boo-freakin-Hoo.

Helen Thomas thinks she's somehow entitled to ask her questions in these press conferences because she's never understood that past Presidents would call on her simply for their own amusement. Finally, we have a President who's willing to acknowledge that she's a joke. And when a joke stops being funny, you ignore it.

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